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Old 01-24-2018, 01:00 PM
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Default Half-ton towable 5th Wheels....

Anyone have any experience with one?

We're looking into those that are specifically made for half-ton trucks.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:03 PM
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IMO....no such thing. The manufacturers advertise them. But they are seriously too heavy for a 1/2 ton. It's not the power. It's the brakes and the suspension. They just aren't heavy enough.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:31 PM
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I have started to look into this myself. Possibly upgrade the brakes, put in lower gears and stiffen the rear suspension with extra leafs or airbags?? Its cheaper than going out and buying a new 3/4 ton truck and I still get better gas mileage when I am not towing.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:12 PM
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Mine was not a 5th wheel. A 28 foot pull behind.

It was a strain on my 1500. Truck rated @
8100 pounds. Camper was 4k "something" pounds dry.
I can't remember.

Loaded, I never tried.
Door plate said 7600 pounds.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:19 PM
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They are made, you need to know the specs of your tow vehicle, namely max tow ability and cargo load.
Factor these and look under those weights, the Ultra light series each manufacturer makes will post this info on their website.
pin weight would be the cargo weight minus whatever percentage you feel comfortable with, I would not recommend anything over 90% if you plan on hauling it regularly. 1-2 times a year for short distances, you could be fine at closer to the limits.

I've been looking at some for about 6 months, and have narrowed down to Grand Design, Rockwood, and Montana.
These are not the budget models, they have good fit and finish and are within my weight budget.
I also expect to use mine almost full time, so a cold weather package is a must, and a 2nd AC unit is another must.
Have a specific use and frequency of use in mind while you are looking, it will ALL play in to making an informed choice.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:44 PM
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Default 1/2 ton 5th wheel

I have owned them for years and loved them,
U do have to be careful at some u look at cause they are a little heavy to be half ton rated, but up to 6500 they pull great, my 02 dodge 1500 took one all over the southeastern U.S. with no problems, we have upgraded now to a 3/4 ton and 36ft 5er, but don't be afraid of them ,they great and pull good, and if u happen to get one that sits your truck down a little more than u want, u can buy a set of shocks with coil springs around them for about a 100 bucks and problem solved..
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:27 AM
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Default 5ers

27ft 5th wheel we pulled to Charleston, 24 foot springdale at myrtle beach, all halfton trucks no problem,
one picture I had to snap a pic of out of our photo album so it don't look to good
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:25 AM
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1/2 ton towable 5th wheels are mostly a marketing gimmick and nothing more as the majority of the population drives a 1/2 ton and the manufacturers are playing to them. Most "notice the most part" are adverised showing the absolute dry weights of the unit with absolutely noting in the trailer (battery, propane, water, cargo etc.) and may fall within some half ton ratings just barely. Load them up and they often times well exceed the vehicles permissible limits. The largest factor that kills most all half tons are payload rating. Being all 5th wheel type trailers generally run a loaded pin weight of 20-25% its easy to exceed this rating. Time you add passengers, hitch weight, and any other cargo loaded into the truck, it gets eat up very fast! Yes, you could add a leaf, air bags, timbrens, whatever band-aid you wish to use to compensate, but it still doesn't change whatever the payload rating is from the factory. Then you must consider gears, smaller cooling systems, axle weight ratings, p-rated tires, etc. There are absolutely some properly equipped 1/2 trucks capable of towing some small 5th wheels (Ford F-150 with max tow and max payload packages for example) but most are not. and then they wind up costing as much or more than a 3/4 ton that would have been a better fit. Again, its a marketing ploy and 90% of the time its not accurate. Don't just take my word for it either, let google be your friend cause the information is out there. I only say all this to make you aware as most folks will believe whatever the salesman says cause they only want to make a sale. Then people are not safe and have a miserable towing experience and also put themselves and others on the road in danger. A couple tips for those who are serious.
-Know your trucks specs beforehand. Payload, axle ratings, gear set, and tire ratings are the keys here.
-Use the GVWR of the trailer rather than the UVWR to do calculations as nobody tows empty.
-Be liberal figuring pin weights for worst case scenario. Empty trailer with a 7500 pound empty weight will have a pin of 1875 pounds at 25%. The same trailer now loaded could be right at say 9000. Now that pin will be all over 2250 pounds. Its also easy to do because all 5th wheels storage is almost exclusively in the front forward of the axles.
-Consider the most extreme use. Not just what you will do every once in a while.

I realize this is a sensitive issue for some and many don't want a larger truck. But this is a area I have quite a bit of knowledge in and first hand experience, and hate seeing people unhappy with their set up that could have been avoided.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:25 PM
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Default Gimmick

They are not a gimmick, I have owned many,
They worry about payload but u have to have tortion bars on a tag alone to hold back of your truck up, if u will look at google u will also find out most trucks will pull 20percent more outta bed, truck is more stable pulling over axle, people also saying u shouldn't pull more than 60percent of what your truck is rated for , just stick to your trucks specs, trailer towing .com will give u the rating on your truck
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:30 AM
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I’ve got an older shadow cruiser that is supposed to be 1/2 ton towable and I believe it. It’s narrower and lower than others and light. I believe I could pull it with the wife’s 1500 v6 but don’t since I’ve got a 3500. Last trip to chincoteague I got 14 pulling running pretty hard the whole way
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:17 AM
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Another thing to think about is a lawsuit. If you knowingly tow over your vehicles limits and cause harm to others , you could be sued. A good lawyer will obtain your weights and use it against you in court.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:23 AM
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Jerk the steering wheel one time while your running 65 or 55 even with a 1/2 ton. I dare you.
HD trucks a very helpful in many ways
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:17 AM
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By 3400 lb one (empty weight) tows just fine behind my Ram 1500. Been to Florida and back several times. I keep the speed down, don't Yank on the Wheel, and don't tow it that often. It mainly stays set up as a fish camp or a hunt camp.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3ringer View Post
Another thing to think about is a lawsuit. If you knowingly tow over your vehicles limits and cause harm to others , you could be sued. A good lawyer will obtain your weights and use it against you in court.
This is why I ended up upgrading to a used F-250 from my 1/2 ton. I just didn't want to take the chance of a lawsuit in case of an accident. My 1/2 ton towed my travel trailer just fine, but I was greatly exceeding my payload capacity and GVWR. I thought I had done my research prior to buying my TT, but listed towing capacities only tell you so much. I just prefer to err on the side of caution.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:12 AM
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This is why I ended up upgrading to a used F-250 from my 1/2 ton. I just didn't want to take the chance of a lawsuit in case of an accident. My 1/2 ton towed my travel trailer just fine, but I was greatly exceeding my payload capacity and GVWR. I thought I had done my research prior to buying my TT, but listed towing capacities only tell you so much. I just prefer to err on the side of caution.
I went through the same thing on my Tundra. I only had 100 lbs to spare on my payload. This was with a dry camper and no gear. I didn’t want to tell my wife that she weighed too much and couldn’t go with me . I purchased a 10 year old GMC 2500 . Now I can load up and not have to worry about weight.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by walters View Post
They are not a gimmick, I have owned many,
They worry about payload but u have to have tortion bars on a tag alone to hold back of your truck up, if u will look at google u will also find out most trucks will pull 20percent more outta bed, truck is more stable pulling over axle, people also saying u shouldn't pull more than 60percent of what your truck is rated for , just stick to your trucks specs, trailer towing .com will give u the rating on your truck
I have no idea where you are getting some of this information, but ok.

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Another thing to think about is a lawsuit. If you knowingly tow over your vehicles limits and cause harm to others , you could be sued. A good lawyer will obtain your weights and use it against you in court.
Absolutely. But most will say “but it pulled it really good”.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:33 PM
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Absolutely. But most will say “but it pulled it really good”.
Any small block V8 can pull 15,000 lbs probably. The tranny behind it might puke....

But the frame and springs and brakes of the tow truck are critical for anything over say 5,000. But again, I know, most pull it fine....


I tow a 28 ft trailer for work 2-4 days a week for work. Some days it's 2,500 lbs. Some days it's 6,000(?).
We used to have a half ton when we started. But it soon grew apparent that it was dangerous the first time we had a sticky situation. Now with the 3/4 ton? Night and day difference when evasive driving is needed.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by T-N-T View Post
Any small block V8 can pull 15,000 lbs probably. The tranny behind it might puke....

But the frame and springs and brakes of the tow truck are critical for anything over say 5,000. But again, I know, most pull it fine....


I tow a 28 ft trailer for work 2-4 days a week for work. Some days it's 2,500 lbs. Some days it's 6,000(?).
We used to have a half ton when we started. But it soon grew apparent that it was dangerous the first time we had a sticky situation. Now with the 3/4 ton? Night and day difference when evasive driving is needed.
Absolutely correct. It’s simple really. One is built for the job, the other isn’t. But it’s amazing how many people fail to realize it. Every camping season I see combinations around the campground and on the road that make you go hmmm. Last year we were up in Clayton GA at the Wal-Mart and a 40-42ft triple axle DRV pulled in on a F-250 and I promise you the rear tires weren’t clearing the fender wells by 1-1.5in tops. And out pops a couple with 3 kids. I just couldn’t bring myself to ask how the combo handled for fear of what he may say as well as try to mind my business. I just hope they are safe today.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
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Another thing to think about is a lawsuit. If you knowingly tow over your vehicles limits and cause harm to others , you could be sued. A good lawyer will obtain your weights and use it against you in court.
You hit someone u are in a lawsuit anyway 1/2 ton 3/4 ton 1 ton.
Getting off subject here, question was is there a 1/2 ton 5th wheel, yes they are, you just have to check all truck specs, looking at tow specs now on 1/2 ton Chevy and rating is 9400 lbs, have a 26 ft 5th wheel in my back yard that weighs 5500 pds. It's been all over behind a halfton
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:59 PM
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I think it can be done. If the 5th wheel or even a pull behind is light enough. If one is just going to pull it less than 50 miles to the lake. Maybe below the fall line.

I don't think it's ideal. I'd most definitely get my rig weighed after I load it down for a camping trip. It may surprise you how much all that added gear weighs.
You may be borderline on power, brakes, suspension, and cooling. Head up to the mountains in August and find out. Choose Fort Mountain or Black Rock Mountain. Make sure you have aux oil and transmission coolers.

It's one of those things that can be done and many people do it and get by with it. Not ideal but you can do it. Maybe decide on how much camping you do and where you go.

Think about the wear and tear on your transmission,etc.
Maybe that's why some people have an old towing truck and a new trailer.
Half ton trucks could work but are not nearly as capable as the larger trucks. You'll have to beef it up to make it work.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greene728 View Post
Absolutely correct. It’s simple really. One is built for the job, the other isn’t. But it’s amazing how many people fail to realize it. Every camping season I see combinations around the campground and on the road that make you go hmmm. Last year we were up in Clayton GA at the Wal-Mart and a 40-42ft triple axle DRV pulled in on a F-250 and I promise you the rear tires weren’t clearing the fender wells by 1-1.5in tops. And out pops a couple with 3 kids. I just couldn’t bring myself to ask how the combo handled for fear of what he may say as well as try to mind my business. I just hope they are safe today.
Had a co-worker who pulled a really large London Aire with a Ford Super Duty 350. He was aware that he needed a bigger truck. He took the dining room table out and had a deep freeze in the kitchen. They lived in it. I can't imagine how much it weighed.
He said going up the Saluda grade on I-26 in South Carolina, his rig would slow down to 20 mph.
He didn't have any trouble between Augusta and the coast. He said he needed a 550 like a 7.3, auto, 2x4, C/C Lariat F550 Fontaine Classic Traveler.

I would say that maybe for some people a 3/4 ton isn't even big enough.

Last edited by Artfuldodger; 02-06-2018 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:40 AM
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Is there really that much difference between the half ton truck you can buy now and the gas 3/4 ton trucks from a few years ago?

Most new half ton trucks are rated to tow 10k plus pounds with the right equipment.

Is it it even legal to tow a recreational trailer over 10001 lbs with no CDL. I know farmers are exempt but it used to be a big deal in construction.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:49 AM
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Default Good point

Frames were thicker on the old 3/4 tons but other than that you are about right, and u can
Pull a combined weight of 25999 pds without a CDL, so yes u can pull 15k to16k and be legal as long as u non commercial
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